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New Ireland won't be worth living in unless we make this place work

Gareth Brown


Nationalists must accept 'Northern Irishness' will transcend poll

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Mainstay: whatever happens with a border poll in the future, Stormont will have a part to play

Mainstay: whatever happens with a border poll in the future, Stormont will have a part to play

PA

Mainstay: whatever happens with a border poll in the future, Stormont will have a part to play

The events of the last two weeks have further revealed a sobering reality. Despite how far we've come, we have not figured out how to make this place work. The Northern Ireland Protocol is just another outworking of a deeper issue and it joins a long list from over the years.

Making a divided society, such as our own, work requires more than treaties, agreements and institutions: it needs a bank of trust and goodwill, accumulated and nurtured over time, that enables different communities to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road without questioning each other's motives. Sound familiar?

In our case, the answer is - and has always been - staring us in the face. Our constitutional position will not change until we decide that it should. Commitment to that very basic principle of self-determination should be enough to allow us to get on and address the challenges immediately in front of us. But, alas, we are where we are.


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